22-Station Break: Out and About in Rome, 1976


We’ve completed the postings on our Scotti ancestors in Agropoli.  Before beginning the series on the Muro family we wanted to take a break and share photos of Rome.  They were taken during the vacation Grandma Josie and Grandpa Sam took me on in 1976.

Our Vacation to Italy Summer of 1976:  Our first week in Rome

Our first week of sightseeing in Rome went by very quickly.  Italia and Stefania guided us through the most important sites of Rome.  Since Stefania was just 9 years old Italia did not want to be out for hours in the hot sun waiting on long lines for admission to churches or museums.  We went sightseeing early in the mornings ending each of our expeditions with a long and leisurely lunch at one of the small, out-of-the way places Italia knew.

On other mornings we went shopping at small boutiques that sold exquisite leather handbags, shoes and clothing.  We’d follow-up with a visit to an Italian Gelateria which Stefania selected.  She sure knew her ice cream!  I remember one Gelateria was an oasis of cool and quiet.  The marble topped tables were such a contrast to the formica topped tables of ice cream parlors back in Brooklyn.  An added treat was getting a tiny scoop of lemon ice on top of the vanilla ice cream I ordered.  The contrast in flavors was very enjoyable.  Italian ice cream is rich and smooth.  The vanilla swirled ice cream with chocolate sprinkles from the Mister Softee truck back in Brooklyn did not cross my mind at all once I developed a liking for gelato.

Of all the sites we visited in Rome, the ones that left the deepest impression on me were St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.  I share these memories along with photos from the trip.  After the photos comes a section with some factual data that is sure to add to the appreciation of these important sites.

From Our Photo Album

Italia, Stefania, Grandma Josie and me visited the Spanish Steps first.  As we approached the top I was reminded of many fairytales I’d read as a child.  The site that greeted us reminded me of a palace where a beautiful Queen and handsome King lived.

Continue reading “22-Station Break: Out and About in Rome, 1976”

21b-Agropoli-The Cholera Epidemic of 1866: In memory

In Memory

Of all who died during the Cholera Epidemic of 1866 in Agropoli including:

Carmela Serrapede Ruocco
1822 – October 28, 1866

Carmine Ruocco
som of Michela Serrapede Ruocco
1859 – October 30, 1866

Michela Serrapede Ruocco
1821 – November 1, 1866

Antonio Pappalardo
1860 – November 5, 1866

Francesco di Giaimo
1806 – November 7, 1866

Let Us Pray

God of the spirits and of all flesh,
who has trampled death and annihilated the devil
and given life to your world, may you yourself,
O Lord, grant to the souls of your deceased servants who
died in Agropoli during the Cholera Epidemic of 1866
rest in a place of light, a verdant place,
a place of freshness, from where suffering,
pain and cries are far removed.

Do You, O good and compassionate God
forgive every fault committed by them in word,
work or thought because there is no man
who lives and does not sin.
You alone are without sin and your justice
is justice throughout the ages and your word is truth.

Since you, O Christ our God, are the resurrection,
the life and the repose of your deceased servants who died in this epidemic,
we give you glory together with your un-begotten Father
and your most holy, good and life-creating Spirit,
now and always and forever and ever.


Our Family

Francesco di Giaimo was the son of Giuseppe and Maddalena (nee Montone) di Giaimo.  By his wife Irene (nee Guzzi) he became the father of Maria Giovanna, Giuseppe and Maddalena.  Francesco was Sammy’s 2nd Great Grandfather and EmilyAnn’s 3rd Great Grandfather.

Luigi and Carminela (nee Cavollo) Serrapede were the parents of Clarice, Michela and Carmela Serrapede.  Clarice Serrapede Ruocco was Sammy’s 2nd Great Grandmother and EmilyAnn’s 3rd Great Grandmother.  Her sisters Michela and Carmela married into a different branch of the Ruocco family that is not in our direct line.

Antonio Pappalardo was the son of Nicola and Teresa (Patella d’Alessandro) Pappalardo.  He is Sammy’s Great Uncle and EmilyAnn’s 2nd Great Uncle.  Antonio’s sister Emilia was Sammy’s paternal Grandmother.



The Cholera Epidemic of 1866 in Agropoli

The Cholera Epidemic of 1866 is written about in Posting 21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes


“Dove of the Holy Spirit”
1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons
Link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gian_Lorenzo_Bernini_-_Dove_of_the_Holy_Spirit.JPG

Byzantine Prayer for the Departed
Pray Catholic


21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes


Anthony Vermandois’ research on the families of Agropoli provides the basis of this exploration into our ancestors. He has compiled vital statistics of many families from Agropoli and the nearby towns which are available at his site, Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania.

Readings from other sources were also used in the preparation of this posting. A list of the titles and URLs is provided at the end.

Relationship Notes

This posting highlights events during the lifetimes of:

Maria Giovanna di Giaimo
-born in Agropoli, 1845
-died Jan. 7, 1915 Agropoli


Carmine Scotti
-born in Agropoli, 1846
-no date of death available yet

Carmine and Maria Giovanna (nee di Giamo) Scotti were:
–Sammy’s maternal Great Grandparents
–EmilyAnn’s maternal 2nd Great Grandparents


The Fisherman and his family: A Bittersweet Life

“A Neopolitan Fisherman” by Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety.

Today we often see the phrase “Bella Italia” describing the natural and cultural beauties of the country. Artists of the past such as Dominique-Louis-Fereol Papety were inspired to leave their home countries to live in Italy.  Papety’s painting “A Neopolitan Fisherman” depicts a muscular, barefoot man dressed in the attire of a Neopolitan fisherman playing his mandolin on the beach while a woman with gold earrings and colorful headscarf looks on.  When I first saw this painting I thought it was too romantic to convey any truth about what life was like during the time Carmine and Maria Giovanna lived.  Having looked at the painting each day for the past two weeks I can now say it conveys a message.

The message speaks of a bittersweet life. It is a life filled with the rough beauty of nature.  The lives of those living amidst this nature are held captive by its unpredictability.  The fisherman and the peasant woman have a look of care and concern on their faces even though the moment when they hear the music gives them a chance to pause from their labors.  The rocks that dominate the foreground of the painting speak of a hard life.  No soft meadows or flowers adorn the landscape.  The sky is filled with many clouds.  The sun might or might not break through.

As a fisherman, Carmine depended on good weather and favorable conditions to yield the bounties of the sea when he spread the nets to make a catch. The families of Agropoli could also grow figs, olives or other fruits and vegetables if they had a even a small patch of land or a garden as a means to supplement their diet.  Even then nature held the upper hand and could provide abundance or devastation depending on forces that were out of a person’s control.

Maria and Carmine came of age during a period of great change as Italy united into one kingdom. Despite the natural beauty of their environment and the unification of the country the impression we have received is that very little change came into the lives of the poor in Southern Italy to make life better, easier or more hopeful for the future.

After the unification of Italy in 1861, Southern Italians now paid higher taxes to the northern part of the country rather than to local overlords. The new parliament located in Turin, in Northern Italy, had no interest or connection to the hardships of the Southern Italians.  Equally distant, the Southern Italians did not grasp the concept of a unified country having only the understanding of loyalty to their townsmen and locality.

Continue reading “21a-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna, Years of Hardship, Years of Good-byes”

20-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna


The research done by Anthony Vermandois at Imagines Maiorum-Ancestors from Campania forms the basis for this exploration into the lives of our ancestors who lived in Agropoli.

Imagines Maiorum includes a compilation of vital statistics for families who lived in Agropoli, Atripalda, Castellabate, Laureana Cilento, Monte san Giacomo, Padula.  New data is being compiled for the residents of these towns who immigrated abroad.

For this week’s posting we’ve used the charts of descent for the Scotti and di Giaimo families.

Relationship Notes

Carmine Scotti was the son of Francesco and Rosolia (nee Patella) Scotti.

He was:
–Uncle Sammy’s Great Grandfather
–EmilyAnn’s 2nd Great Grandfather


Carmine’s Grandfather, Aniello Scotti and his Uncle Giuseppe Scotti, cousin Fillipo Scotti, and father Francesco Scotti are described as “possidente” when their occupation is listed in the records Anthony Vermandois has researched.  “Possidente” in the 19th century Italy could have meant the owner of land, owner of a building or buildings or both.

Some development changed the family situation so that Carmine and his brother did not continue in the profession of their father.  He and his brother became fishermen.  Uncle Sammy and I considered various scenarios in a previous posting that might have led to this change.

On May 27th, 1869 Carmine married Maria Giovanna di Giaimo of Agropoli.  The di Giaimo family appears only once in relation to the other families in our bloodline.  The di Giaimo family members do not appear as travelling companions of our ancestors when we review ship passenger lists.  They also did not marry into the extended families of our bloodline.  Nor were there any friendships between the di Giaimo family and the Muro, Serrapede or Scotti family members in the U.S. that we know of.  In an effort to get to know Maria Giovanna better, my Uncle and I reviewed her entire pedigree chart based on Anthony Vermandois’ research.  The following exercise we did made the family more familiar to us.

The di Giaimo Family Line

We are numbering the generations to make identifying them easier in the pedigree chart.

1.  The earliest ancestor Anthony has located is Giuseppe di Giaimo, born before 1790.  He married Maddalena Montone.  Their children were:

—Francesco b.1806
—-Antonia b.1807
—-Costabile b.1813

Maddalena does not appear as a daughter amongst the Montone families Anthony has researched so far so at this point her lineage is not known to us.

Giuseppe’s profession was “bracciante” which translates as laborer.

2.  Giuseppe and Maddalena’s oldest son Francesco is our direct line ancestor.  Francesco’s profession is listed as “colono” which translates as “settler” or “tenant”.  At Dictionary Reverso, this word is given as a synonym for “contadino” which means tenant farmer. Francesco married Irene Guzzi and became the father of:

—-Giuseppe b.1830,
—-Maddalena b.1840
—-Giovanna b.1845 (a/k/a Maria Giovanna)

At this time, there is no information available about Irene and the Guzzi family.

3. Francesco and Irene’s daughter Giovanna became the wife of Carmine Scotti.  In Anthony’s entry for the marriage her name was now known as Maria Giovanna.

Continue reading “20-Scotti Family in Agropoli: Carmine and Maria Giovanna”